Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Love Unexpectedly

Our Love Story Back in 2009, I posted a Blog entitled "Compromise Schmompromise". If you read it, you'll see that I wrote about what I hoped and dreamed was possible to find in love. I didn't fully expect that putting it out there to the universe would be somewhat of a clarion call. Here's how it came to pass.... In 2011, I moved to Utah wanting a different environment for my boys and to be closer to family. I dated and had friends, but not what I really wanted. I didn't want to settle for crumbs when I hoped for a banquet. I was social, attending single adult activities, dances, and conferences, and met great people who became wonderful friends... but as far as potential relationships go, like the adage says, "Don't make somebody a priority that only sees you as an option". In addition to that, I have 3 children, so whomever I became serious with, wouldn't see them as "baggage", but as an eternal part of me. In January 2012, a man requested my friendship on Facebook, after having seen my picture on an LDS singles group page. The page was not a dating site meant for finding somebody, but he took his chances and sent out a message asking me if I wanted an Ozzy pen pal. Normally I would ignore requests from men from around the world without having had some sort of interaction beforehand. For some reason, I didn't delete his request. I checked out his profile and photos and just let it simmer for a few months. I thought he was very cute with a friendly face and he lived on the other side of the world! What could possibly happen? In March, I accepted his friendship request and answered his message. We sent short, general messages back and forth to each other for a few days, until one Saturday evening on March 17, 2012. We had a long conversation via Facebook chat. It was honest and fun. He was kind and interesting and real about things. He didn't attempt to sell himself to me. He was friendly and funny. Before we knew it, we realized we had been chatting for 11 hours!! I knew I liked this guy. He told me that he liked me too and wanted to chat more. We did, and within a few days he asked if he could call me. I said yes! Clint and I spoke on the phone for a month until he introduced me to Skype, which is awesome! We began skyping in April 2012 and our friendship developed into a deeper, more meaningful relationship. By summer 2012 we knew that we had to meet if this was going to ever go any further. We talked about it and he applied for a visa to come over. Along the way, doubts crept in as we wondered whether this could really even work. Should we walk away? How could we? We would never know unless we followed through. We would die wondering! His visa came through and a wonderful friend provided a miracle and offered us a stand-by ticket so he could come sooner. He would come for General Conference and we would meet!! I was so excited and nervous, but mostly excited and happy!! When he arrived on 4/3/2013, I felt like I had known him forever. We had already developed a deep foundation of friendship and even more than that - a meaningful relationship. The only difference was now it was tangible. It wasn't any more real to me. It had been real. My feelings were real. But now he could be real to others too. From the moment he got off the plane, we felt so comfortable around each other. I loved him. He was beautiful...even more beautiful and perfect in person. We spent the next week building on the great foundation and confirming the obvious chemistry that must be present in any good relationship. There was no question in my mind. He was the one I described in my blog just 4 years earlier. We had so much in common and we thought so alike. I felt like God had hand picked him for me and put him in my path just like I knew was possible. He was my perfect match. He surprised me at around midnight on the night of April 9th and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes!! Never had anyone been so gentle and kind and good and attentive to me. Never had anyone been such an example of honesty and integrity. He was spiritual, compassionate, patient, understanding, generous. He made me a priority in his daily life. We were both willing to do whatever it would take to be together forever. We knew that in the beginning we would have to be apart alot. We would have to miss being with our spouse on a daily basis. We knew it. We understood it. We saw past the here and now, into a future that would allow us, if we both made the effort it would take, to be with each other forever. We laughed. We cried. We knew it was right. If God had blessed us so richly to be able to meet, get to know eachother, make the path open for us to come together...how could we allow any possible challenge keep us from being married? Why would we? Sure, we could have focused on all of the possible obstacles that we would face being a long distance couple, but we chose instead to have faith and confidence that God would continue to bless us, just as he had all along our journey thus far. The next morning, Wed., April 10th, I made some phone calls to find out if was even possible for us to be married, while Clint was here visiting. We didn't know what hurdles there would be. We were surprised to find out that it was possible. We also didn't expect what happened next. The lady at the courthouse told is that there was a judge that had an appt available that day...that morning!!! Wait. We wanted to get married, but I didn't have a dress or shoes with me. I wasn't expecting it to happen that day. We prayed and talked about it and decided, why not that day? Yes. We had been blessed in so many ways and this was another door opening for us. We knew what we wanted. We discussed the fact that this would be a marriage, but not a traditional wedding. It would be the two of us, in a private and intimate ceremony committing to each other our devotion and our loyalty and our love. This was Clint and I saying to each other, "I love you and am willing to commit to you and to do whatever it takes to come back to each other and to love each other and be there for each other, even with time and distance in between us. I am yours and you are mine." We were sad that there wasn't time to call everyone and invite everyone, but really it was okay. We knew there would be possible opposition or people questioning our decision. We knew it was right and that was good enough for us. We were happy and loved each other. The absolute truth is that both of us had been married before. We had dated. We knew that what we had together, we never had before with anyone else...ever. As soon as we made the decision, everything fell into place! Our angel friend, Janine, "just happened" to have a never-been-worn gorgeous dress in her closet that "just happened" to fit me like a glove. She called another angel, Jill, and they went and bought me some lovely shoes and a bouquet while Clint and I got ready, and they met us at the courthouse. Im telling you, it worked perfectly, like it was planned. Jill even knew the judge that performed the ceremony. It was so positive and joyous and sweet. I married my very best friend, and was walking on air! April 10 goes down in my life's story as one of the happiest, best days, because of you..Clint Chapman. Im so happy to be your wife, your partner, and the recipient of your wonderful love. I love you with my whole soul, now and forever... xxxxxx

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